More than 40 companies have expressed interest in the project, which has five packages: signalling, civil works, power supply, track work and rolling stock (MEED 13:9:02).

The French Interinfraconsortium and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation– both of which have done work on lines 1 and 2 – have indicated that they are interested in working on all five packages.

Several other French and Japanese companies have shown interest in individual packages. The project has also attracted interest from Spanish, German, Italian, Danish, UK, South Korean and Canadian firms, as well as from local contractors.

The project entails building a 4.5-kilometre section between Ataba and Abbassiya, including five stations. Several options are being considered for financing the foreign exchange portion of the work. The European Investment Bank, France and Japan are regarded as leading candidates to finance major parts of the scheme.

The consultant on the design phase of the project has been France’s Systra. A prequalification tender has also been issued, with a 15 December closing date, for the contract to work as consultant on the execution phase of the project, which will include tender evaluation and supervision of construction.